(NewsUSA) – With the start of the new year, we’ve all become a little older and wiser. So, why not put some of that wisdom into making healthier decisions over the next year? Healthy eating and regular exercise will give you energy and help you lower your chances for developing diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.
The Weight-control Information Network (WIN), a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health, offers the following tips for older adults:
* Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals may slow down your metabolism or lead you to eat larger amounts of high-fat foods later in the day. To keep yourself on track, eat with a friend or someone whose company you enjoy.
* Eat just enough for you. Do not eat more food than your body will need. Make sure you are consuming enough vitamin D and vitamin B-12, as many seniors have trouble getting enough of these nutrients. Limit high fat and high salt foods. Try to get enough fiber into your diet.
* Prepare meals in advance. Cook ahead, and then freeze meals so that you have easy meals on hand for when you don’t feel like cooking.
* Start with 10 minutes of slower activity, and build up to 30 minutes of more brisk activity.
* Try different types of exercise. Different types of activity benefit your body in different ways. For example, aerobic activity may help you maintain weight and increase your energy, while strength training keeps your muscles and bones strong.
* Be active with family and friends. Having a buddy can help you stay active.
For more information, call WIN at 1-877-946-4627 or visit www.win.niddk.nih.gov and read the free brochure, “Young at Heart: Tips for Older Adults.”